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Latex vs. Oil Paint: Which Should I Use?

Choosing a Paint Type - Latex or OilOne of the questions our experts at Franklin Painting often hear is: Which paint should I use – latex or oil? Let’s explore this topic.

All you have to do is go to a paint store and watch what kind of paints people are buying to know how popular water-based, latex paints are. Ease of application, ease of cleanup and no offensive odor are among the reasons people go with latex. But ask any professional commercial painter, and he or she will tell you oil-based paints still have a solid place in many painting projects.

Projects ideal for latex paints
Choose latex paints for the big areas such as ceilings and walls. As long as the surfaces to be painted are properly prepared (cleaned, dried, sanded, etc.), you’ll find a much easier time of it with a high-quality latex paint. The plethora of colors offered by top-name manufacturers like Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore give you outstanding coverage and easy cleanup with soap and warm water.

A big advantage when painting multiple coats on large areas is the speed at which latex dries compared to oil. Usually just a couple hours is all the waiting time that’s necessary. To visualize how much quicker latex dries than oil-based paints, imagine a few droplets of water spilled onto a kitchen counter next to the same amount of cooking oil. When you return in the morning, which spill will still be there?

Sherwin-Williams paint experts for years have been touting the advantages of latex paint. On the company’s website, they say, “Today’s improved latex products have allowed for the substitution of latex in nearly all scenarios that had traditionally called for an oil base material.”

Here’s a quick recap of the reasons people like latex paints:
1. Fast cleanup with soap and water – no toxic mineral spirits are necessary.
2. Easy to ventilate rooms due to low-intensity odor.
3. Latex paints provide very good coverage on virtually all surfaces.
4. Quick-drying, so you can finish a job in a fraction of the time you’d spend if you went with an oil-based paint.

Is there any reason to paint with oil?
With the advanced technology going into modern latex paints, there are only a few instances when oil paint is recommended.

When you’re painting over a surface that previously has been painted with an oil paint, use the same kind of paint. The reason for this is that most latex paints won’t adhere well to a surface with an oil-based finish. (If you paint latex over oil, you’ll still need an oil-based primer and sealer to ensure proper coverage.)

Proper Storage for PaintOther places where oil-based paints are preferred include sections of trim in high-traffic spaces, metal surfaces and surfaces that are dirty and for whatever reason can’t be perfectly cleaned. It is also advised to use oil-based paints when the painted surfaces will be exposed to extreme temperatures, because these paints are not as likely to crack and shrink.

Choosing the right paint is a big part of getting an excellent paint job. So is experience and expertise. If you want to talk to the professionals at Franklin Painting of Connecticut about an upcoming interior or exterior painting project, call (877) 646-7774. We’ll give you a beautiful result.

Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
160 Brickyard Road, Farmington, CT 06032

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